Sweet Lorane Community News, February 18, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 18, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Lane County Department of Public Works photo

The Lane County Public Works Department sent out an update on the multi-year Territorial Highway Project that is taking place north of Lorane. Phase 1 of the project, centering around the major restructuring of the dangerous curves at Stony Point was begun in the summer of 2020. The construction was paused in December and will restart this coming May. They hope to complete the Phase 1 section this summer.

Unfortunately, the Phase 2 segment, planned for Gillespie Corners to Easy Acres Drive, has been put on hold until more funding can be found. It involves the raising of the road that frequently floods during the winter and the building of new bridges along that route.

Phase 3, from Easy Acres Drive to Stony Point, is planned to begin in 2023 and continue into 2024. The interim time will be spent in designing, surveying, collecting data and discussions with property owners on how it will impact each of their properties. The county will also host community discussions in the fall of 2022 about the final design, construction schedules and traffic control in that segment.

Phase 4 involves the segment of Territorial from Stony Point into Lorane and will begin after the completion of Phase 3. A more detailed time schedule for that section will be announced sometime in 2022.

We live along the Phase 2 segment and have put off our plans to put in a new perimeter fence along Territorial until the construction was complete, knowing that the property line will most likely be changed anyway and that any new fencing we put in would have to be moved. Now, it looks like it won’t happen for several years, so I guess we’ll be planning a fence project this spring.

All of us who drive along that stretch are disappointed that the flooding problem won’t be addressed for some time yet. We were really looking forward to having that done. According to the county, however, the initial costs they had factored into that segment have risen drastically in the last year and now exceed what they have on hand. New funding in the form of grants is being sought so that Phase 2 can proceed as soon as possible.

Speaking of flooding, we are so grateful that Mother Nature has been reasonably kind to all of us in Lane County this winter. Not only have we not had any flooding at Gillespie Corners, but we have not had to suffer through the ice storm that hit many parts of Oregon north of us. How well we all remember the snow, ice and power outages of a couple of winters ago. Thank goodness we have not relived those times this winter as others in Albany, Salem and Portland have.

Other parts of the country, in places that are not used to snow and ice, have also been suffering through some really damaging winter weather. Much of Texas has been without power for almost a week because of it. Some good friends live in Helena, Montana. They are used to lots of snow each winter, but this year, Connie wrote: “This past week, our highs have been -7 degrees—and our lows are in the -20 degree range.”

Thank you, Mother Nature, for our “home sweet home.”

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